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Alberta’s wage gap highest in Canada

New Parkland Institute research shows Alberta women still have a long way to go

Edmonton—New research from the Parkland Institute, released on International Women’s Day, shows persistent inequality for Alberta women.

A new fact sheet, entitled “Women’s equality a long way off in Alberta” shows a persistent wage gap between women and men, despite the 2002-2007 oilsands boom. Alberta is also the only province/territory without any government ministry or advisory council on the status of women.

Alberta women who work full-year, full-time earn just 66% of what men earn. The Canadian average earnings gap is 72%.

Women now form 58% of Alberta’s undergraduate university population, and have made up over half of the university population since 1993. But those gains do not translate into a smaller wage gap. Female university graduates, employed full-year and full-time, earn just 67% of what Alberta men with university degrees earn. In 2002, female university graduates earned 79% of men’s earnings – demonstrating that the oilsands boom boosted men’s earnings far more than women’s.

“We’ve always known that women are more impacted than men by recessionary periods,” says Parkland’s research director Diana Gibson.  “Now we know that, at least in Alberta, they don’t seem to do any better doing boom periods either.”

Alberta also lags behind the rest of Canada on a number of family-related benefits. We have the least generous maternity/parental leave benefits, some of the lowest investments in child care, and are among a minority of provinces without a provincial child benefit.

This new research is summarized in a fact sheet entitled “Women’s Equality a Long Way Off in Alberta” which is available on the Institute’s web-site.

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